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Introducing the second season of the podcast “Indigenous Voices”

Indigenous leaders discuss traditional knowledge, successful Indigenous businesses, and Indigenous women's rights.

On the International Day of Indigenous Peoples on August 9, the FSC Indigenous Foundation launched the podcast “Indigenous Voices” to recognize the global value of Indigenous Peoples, their rights, livelihoods, territories, and natural capital. In the episodes, we have conversations with Indigenous leaders to listen and learn from their experiences, knowledge, opinions, and analyses related to the global issues we face as human beings.

Listen to the first season here.

In the second season, we learn more about Indigenous women’s challenges, rights, and victories. We also learn about the role of traditional knowledge in the fight against climate change and the values, principles, and lessons that have made Indigenous businesses successful. This season features leaders and experts from Taiwan, Panama, the United States, and Kenya.

Episode 5 – A sustainable future for all

In the fifth episode of “Indigenous Voices,” Su Hsin, Indigenous civil engineer and human rights advocate of the Taiwan Papora Indigenous Development Association, discusses the challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples in Asia in securing their rights. She highlights the importance of involving Indigenous women and youth in the effort to ensure a sustainable future for all.

From her experience in risk management, Su explains how traditional knowledge can help combat the crises humanity is facing, especially the effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As an Indigenous civil engineer, I know how to build a safe environment for the people. I use my traditional knowledge which I learned from my ancestors, and legends and stories, to know which places around the mountains and rivers are dangerous to build.” Su Hsin

Listen to the fifth episode here. 

Episode 6 – Women changing the world

In this episode, Aulina Ismare Opua, first elected cacica of the Wounaan People of Panama, discusses the situation of Indigenous women in Panama and Latin America, their participation in national and international leadership roles, and the importance of generating female empowerment initiatives that strengthen the capacities of Indigenous organizations.

Aulina will share the story of how she became the first woman cacica of the Wounaan People, the responsibilities and challenges this represents in her life, and her projects to strengthen the participation of Indigenous youth and women in Panama.

“We are going to represent, we are going to make Indigenous women visible in the future: today, tomorrow, and forever.” Aulina Ismare Opua

Listen to the sixth episode here (in Spanish).

Episode 7 – Education towards women’s empowerment

In the seventh episode of “Indigenous Voices,” Agnes Leina of the Samburu People, Director of Il’laramatak Community Concerns and Gender Coordinator of IPACC, shares the reality of Indigenous women and girls in Kenya.

Agnes highlights the need for changes in communities that allow for better education, more opportunities for women, and the need to fight against female genital mutilation. In order to eradicate violence against Indigenous girls and women, Agnes states that it is necessary for women to be leaders in their communities so decisions will be made in favor of Indigenous women and girls.

Examining the root causes of gender-based violence, Agnes discusses the climate crisis that causes droughts and the shortage of food and water generated by the COVID crisis.

“Women need to sit in political leadership positions, and once they are there, they are able to make decisions. If you are not at the decision-making table, what do you expect? Unless you are at that table, everything will be decided and you will be left behind.” Agnes Leina

Listen to the seventh episode here.

Episode 8 – Succesful Indigenous companies

In the eighth episode of “Indigenous Voices,” we speak with Derik Frederiksen, director of FSC USA and member of the Tsm’syen People of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia.

Derik will tell us about his experience in forest conservation, his first experience of climate change, and his commitment to advancing Indigenous rights and culture to protect ancestral homelands.

He also speaks about Sealaska, an Indigenous company located in Southeast Alaska that works for and on behalf of the communities in the area.

“The decisions that we make as a People and as a company have largely been with the mindset: Whatever activity we do, whatever endeavor we embark in, we look at it through the lens that we want to be here for at least the next 13 thousand years. Derik Frederiksen

Listen to the eighth episode here.

Music and sound identity

The music for “Indigenous Voices” was developed to show the global diversity and current identity of Indigenous Peoples, combining traditional and technological elements.

A full musical piece was composed for this podcast, entitled “Pueblos.” The composition is in the key of E minor as this tonality is one of the most used by Indigenous Peoples around the world. The main melodies have a modal character with a strong influence from pentaphony. They are played by a duo of “ngoni,” a West African stringed instrument whose timbre is similar to the harp, lute, banjo, and birimbao.

The composition also features a vocal section that combines male and female singers, strengthening the sense of multiplicity and wholeness. The voices sing the word “Peoples” in different languages, including Indigenous languages: 

nonampi (Asháninka), iwi (Maorí), ol-orere (Maasai), vezahka (Sapmi), peoples (English), pueblos (Spanish), povos (Portuguese)

This mix is intended to reinforce the idea of the wholeness of Indigenous Peoples without losing sight of the particularity of each Peoples’ identity.

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The FSC Indigenous Foundation promotes Indigenous-based solutions at COP27

We strengthened partnerships with and for Indigenous Peoples to confront and mitigate the global climate crisis.

portait indigenous woman of the world - COP27

Sharm, El Sheik, Egypt. The FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC-IF) participated in the 27th edition of the United Nations Summit of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) held on November 6 to 18, 2022, at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Based on the importance of Indigenous Peoples, their territories, and their traditional knowledge and practices for the conservation of forests, biodiversity and resources, the FSC Indigenous Foundation promoted events seeking the recognition of Indigenous Peoples as agents of change and main actors regarding global solutions to the climate crisis.

The FSC Indigenous Foundation also encouraged multi-sector collaboration, seeking partnerships and bringing together different stakeholders to identify and promote Indigneous-based solutions to global challenges.

Additionally, we worked to empower a new generation of Indigenous leaders who will boost the Indigenous climate action to combat the challenges of climate change and determine a different course of action for the future of the planet.

From proposal to direct action

The following is a summary of the main events of the agenda. 

Side Event: From 1.7 Billion Commitment To Action: An African Indigenous Agenda for the Implementation of Indigenous-Led Climate Solutions and Indigenous Financing

portait participants of side event Side Event: From 1.7 Billion Commitment To Action: An African Indigenous Agenda for the Implementation of Indigenous-Led Climate Solutions and Indigenous Financing - COP27

The FSC Indigenous Foundation and its allies in Africa, the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC) and the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), co-organized a side event on November 8 in the Indigenous Pavilion at COP27 to discuss the Indigenous Financing Plan proposed by Forest Tenure Funders Group (FTFG) to be implemented in Africa as part of the continuation of the 1.7 billion commitment for Indigenous Peoples, which had been announced at COP26.

This plan will constitute a pilot that will determine the implementation of this mechanism on a global scale.

“Any solution to the climate crisis must include Indigenous Peoples as active partners. We are here to seek solutions and work together.”
Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC Indigenous Foundation.

Side Event:  Building a Multisectoral Mechanism together with Indigenous Peoples towards the Implementation of the 1.7 Billion Pledge for Forest Conservation

participants of side event Building a Multisectoral Mechanism together with Indigenous Peoples towards the Implementation of the 1.7 Billion Pledge for Forest Conservation - COP27

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the FSC Indigenous Foundation co-organized this side event, held on November 16 at the US Center, to to discuss how climate change disproportionately impacts Indigenous Peoples and identify ways of integration and collaboration with Indigeous Peoples to achieve common goals to move forward with the implementation of the Forest Tenure Pledge.

Panelists concluded that for climate finance to reach Indigenous Peoples and local communities directly, it will be necessary to develop and agree on transparent and efficient mechanisms, not only determined by donors and partners but in close consultation with Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

“There is not someone else telling us about climate impacts, we are experiencing it directly. It is better to focus our energy on how we can resolve it and bring hope back home.”
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, AFPAT and FSC-IF Council member.

Side Event:  Indigenous Women Leading the Climate Change Agenda from their Ancestral Knowledge and Traditional Practices

participants of side event Indigenous Women Leading the Climate Change Agenda from their Ancestral Knowledge and Traditional Practices - COP27

On November 11 in the Green Zone at COP27, Indigenous women from Africa, Mesoamerica, and South America presented local examples of why Indigenous women are key agents leading climate change agendas with their ancestral knowledge and traditional practices. The event was organized by the FSC Indigenous Foundation, the Coordinator of Territorial Women Leaders of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC), and TINTA.

Indigenous women, youth, and girls have been disproportionately impacted by climate change, even if they use, manage and conserve community territories consisting of more than 50% of the world’s land.

“Indigenous women’s traditional knowledge is part of the solution.”
Fany Kuiru of OPIAC.

Capacity Development Center Event: Integrating Indigenous Peoples into the NDC Process through Capacity Development

participants of side event Integrating Indigenous Peoples into the NDC Process through Capacity Development - COP27

Held on November 16 in the Capacity Development Center at COP27, this event provided the opportunity to discuss  the key strategies to foster capacity development of Indigenous Peoples and communities to promote their participation and contribution on initiatives and projects aiming for the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) goals.

For this event, the FSC Indigenous Foundation, the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), Association for Research and Integral Development (AIDER), and Ecosphere+ convened a group of experts to highlight cases in Costa Rica and Peru where Indigenous communities are effectively participating in carbon markets, and discuss key strategies for capacity building for Indigenous Peoples and communities. 

The FSC-IF seeks to elevate Indigenous Peoples’ contributions towards the protection of Mother Earth, as a means to be recognized as providers of inclusive, holistic and cultural solutions focused on diversity in global changes.

“Mechanisms should be participatory and socialized with Indigenous Peoples and leaders. It is important to have information before making decisions that involve our territories and resources.”
Berlin Diques, Regional Organisation AIDESEP Ucayali (ORAU)

The FSC Indigenous Foundation builds partnerships with and for Indigenous Peoples worldwide

Solutions to the climate crisis require collaboration from different sectors, especially Indigenous Peoples, who have been the world’s nature-based solution providers for thousands of years. 

For this reason, the FSC Indigenous Foundation is engaging with different sectors to identify and promote Indigenous-based solutions to global challenges. At COP27, we signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Network of Indigenous and Local Communities for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), the Indigenous Peoples Coordinating Committee of Africa (IPACC), the Ogiek Peoples Development Program, and Health in Harmony to advance Indigenous-led solutions, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and Indigenous self-development. 

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Indigenous women weaving the climate change agenda toward a sustainable future

At COP27, Indigenous women from Africa, Mesoamerica, and South America discuss how they are leading climate agendas with their traditional knowledge

Indigenous women from Africa, Mesoamerica, and South America presented local examples of why Indigenous women are key agents leading climate change agendas with their ancestral knowledge and traditional practices in an event in the Green Zone at COP 27 organized by the FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC-IF), the Coordinator of Territorial Women Leaders of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC), and TINTA.

Indigenous women are guardians of ancestral knowledge at the cultural, political, social, and productive levels, protecting forests, water, and biodiversity, and are responsible for transmitting this knowledge from generation to generation. Indigenous women, youth, and girls have been disproportionately impacted by climate change. However, the strategies promoted and the approaches adopted by different actors at the local, national, and international levels have not been able to provide the required response in terms of losses and damages caused, nor have they been implementing, in an inclusive and differentiated manner, prior consultations with a gender perspective. Indigenous women’s organizations received only 0.7% of all recorded human rights funding between 2010 and 2013, despite the fact that they use, manage and conserve community territories consisting of more than 50% of the world’s land.

Sara Omi, Emberá lawyer and President of the Coordinator of Territorial Women Leaders of Mesoamerica of the AMPB; Aissatou Oumarou, Deputy Coordinator of the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC); Fany Kuiru, Women’s, Children and Family Coordinator of Coordinator of the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC); and Shirley Krenak of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), shared their perspectives on climate change and how it affects women and families in their territories with key stakeholders from the private sector, financial sector, government, and international cooperation.

Sara Omi, of the Territorial Women Leaders of Mesoamerica and AMPB, said, “We are the protectors of traditional knowledge but our contributions are invisible. That is why we are here to highlight our contributions to the planet.”

Aissatou Oumarou of REPALEAC stated, “We are losing our biodiversity, we are losing our trees, and this prevents us from passing our culture and traditions to the next generation, all because of climate change. ”

Shirley Krenak of APIB said that in the Amazon, “We have seven biomes where Indigenous women live. We have long been attacked by environmental atrocities.”

Fany Kuiru of OPIAC explained, “Indigenous women’s traditional knowledge is part of the solution. Women are taught to respect and value nature to keep the balance.” She also added that “the masculinization of climate finance has to be changed.”

Sara Omi said, “I want to recognize the importance and the role played by the FSC Indigenous Foundation in the case of Panama and Mesoamerica to continue contributing to the creation of mechanisms or public policies that can break these gaps of inequalities of vulnerability to the effects of climate change.”

Global political and social actors must direct their attention and resources to strengthen and empower Indigenous women and incorporate their knowledge into strategies to address climate change.

Watch a recording of the event here.

Contact information:

Mary Donovan, FSC-IF, m.donovan@fsc.org

Tamara Espinoza, CMLT/AMPB, comunicacion@mujeresmesoamericanas.org

 Andrea Rodriguez, GATC, andrearodriguezgarson@gmail.com

Poem by Amalia Hernandez, Lenca Indigenous Women, to world leaders (in Spanish)

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Breaking Gaps, Achieving Dreams 

The FSC Indigenous Foundation celebrates the launch of the Indigenous Women of Panama’s Economic Empowerment Plan and is supporting its implementation.

CAMIP workshop

On Monday, October 17th, the Advisory Committee of Indigenous Women of Panama (CAMIP), the Ministry of Government of Panama, and the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) launched the Indigenous Women of Panama’s Economic Empowerment Plan (PEMIP 2025)

This plan is a comprehensive and pioneering initiative that seeks the full inclusion and effective exercise of the socioeconomic rights of Panamanian Indigenous women, based on their protagonism and self-determination. It creates a space to convene multi-sectors including public and private actors to bring resources and commitment to support the Indigenous women of Panama. 

The FSC-IF is supporting the implementation of PEMIP through three of its components including ancestral cultural restoration, leadership, and governance. 

The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development, and Ministry of Labor are committed and empowered to support the Plan, and Enred Panama is providing technical assistance.

Launch of the Indigenous Women’s Economic Empowerment Plan 

The launch, held at the Parlamento Latinoamericano, featured words from Janaina Tewaney Mencomo, Minister of External Relations, Rocío Medina, IDB Representative in Panama, Roger Tejada Bryden, Minister of Government, and from delegates of CAMIP including Elsy Pedrol, delegate from the General Congress of the Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé, Briseida Iglesias, delegate of the General Congress of the Comarca Guna Yala, and Andrea Lino, delegate of the General Congress of the Collective Lands Emberá-Wounaan. 

Andrea Lino described the challenges and effort to develop this plan.

“We had to climb mountains to find ways to connect virtually and develop this plan. But we, as women, fighters, leaders of each territory, we made this great effort to arrive to this day.” 

Briseida Iglesias ended with a strong message for, “unity, sisterhood, and social equity.” 

Creation of an Indigenous Women’s Advisory Committee 

In 1993, the National Coordinating Committee of Indigenous Women of Panama (CONAMUIP) was created. It became evident that space was needed for Indigenous women’s voices after the National Roundtable of Indigenous Peoples in 2016 where there were few women decision-makers.

In 2018, under the leadership of Sara Omi, President of the Congress of Alto Bayano, CONAMUIP proposed the formal creation of this space. The Advisory Committee of Indigenous Women of Panama (CAMIP) was constituted, formed by twelve delegates representing each territory in the National Roundtable of Indigenous Peoples (CONDIPI). CAMIP receives, processes, and transmits information while at the same time is linked to the community and governance structures of the Indigenous Peoples of Panama. 

With the IDB and the Ministry of Government of Panama, CAMIP developed the Indigenous Women of Panama’s Economic Empowerment Plan (PEMIP 2025), based on conversations with various Indigenous women, evidence and data, analysis of policies, and consultation with experts. 

Beginning implementation 

Immediately after the launch of PEMIP, CAMIP met in a workshop supported by FSC-IF to discuss the implementation of the plan and the by-laws of CAMIP, as part of the activities that the Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD) is supporting as part of PEMIP implementation. 

On October 21st, the FSC-IF supported another workshop with the CAMIP leaders and women chiefs on institutional strengthening of CAMIP, Indigenous women’s leadership, and the creation of a strategy to promote dialogue spaces for effective participation of Indigenous women as a tool for political incidence. At the end of the workshop, participants took a proactive role to participate in the different working groups that are part of the Plan’s axes to continue working on the implementation of the PEMIP for the benefit of their communities. 

In close collaboration with CAMIP, the Ministry of Government, the IDB, and ENRED, the FSC-IF is also working on implementation by developing a national Indigenous women’s organization registered in Panama to support the implementation of PEMIP, conducting a pilot in one Indigenous territory to create a guide to promote Indigenous women’s cultural preservation, drafting by-laws of CAMIP to improve its governance, and developing a strategy to increase participation of CAMIP in other national spaces related to the implementation of the PEMIP. 

The FSC-IF is committed to working with and for Indigenous women, who we know to be the guardians of ancestral knowledge providing solutions that will determine our future and the future of the planet. 

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